Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Bright Idea

Here’s another Canadian Super-kid we should all know about and cheer on. 

Did you or your kids experience science fairs? We did in our family and often found it hard to come up with topics that hadn’t been done to death by others over the years and yet were still age-appropriate and possible, given that we don’t all have science equipment handy. 

Ann Makosinski is 15-year old from Victoria, BC who has been enjoying and entering Science Fairs for many years. Now in Grade 10, she began 3 years ago to look at ways to harness energy and started to use Peltier tiles to produce energy. I had never heard of Peltier tiles, but apparently when you heat one side of the tile and cool the other side, the result is energy which can be useful – the greater the temperature difference, the more energy produced. 

This year, Ann, decided to use Peltier tile technology to see if she could create a flashlight that would be powered just by the heat of the hand. When her flashlight actually worked, she uploaded a video of it to YouTube and was thrilled when she got 200 views. Her outstanding success has won her the place as Canada’s only science fair student this year to go to the international Google Science Fair in California this September. And guess what! The YouTube views are now into the millions! 

Just in case you’re wondering what kind of kid she is and whether she spends all her time working on science projects in her bedroom, here’s what else she did over the course of her year in Grade 10: 

·        Played the headmistress in the school production of The Secret Garden

·        Read books, including Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

·        Participated in the school film club and student council

·        Sang in the school choir and played in the orchestra

·        Took piano and theory lessons

·        Worked part-time as a math and reading tutor

·        Still had time to hang out with friends 

I wonder if the busyness of Ann Makosinski’s life is an example of the busier we are, the more we can accomplish!